“Your curl type is determined by the shape of the follicle that your hair grows out of from your scalp. The flatter or more oval-shaped the follicle, the curlier your hair; the more circular the cross-section, the straighter your hair. Your curl pattern is also identified by the shape that the strands of hair make, whether they kink, curve, or wind around themselves into spirals,” says hairstylist Vernon François.
Most people with textured hair have more than one type of pattern on their head, “so you may have a combination of, say, kinky, coily, wavy, and curly,” adds François. Identifying your curl shape and pattern (or patterns) is best determined while your hair is sopping wet.
A simple breakdown: Type 1s are straight, Type 2s are wavy, Type 3s are curly, and Type 4s are coily.
The sub-classifications of A to C are based on the width or diameter of your wave, curl, or coil pattern. Type As have a wider pattern size, Type Bs medium, and Type Cs the smallest of the three. “The real beauty of identifying your hair type is that you’re better at understanding how to care for your texture so you can have more versatility,” explains Anthony Dickey, the curl wizard behind the Hair Rules salon and brand.